Feb 032014

Did/does your mama save bacon drippings? If she’s native Southern, she probably did/does.

cornbread1Once in a great while I’ve cooked some eggs in a bit of just-created bacon grease, but that I can remember, yesterday was the first time I’ve ever saved any. I made a pot of chili for the Super Bowl, and I decided I wanted to have real cornbread to go with.

Now we have cornbread from time to time, but we’ve just been using corn muffin mix, which makes mildly sweet, cakey, Yankee cornbread. It tastes very much like what’s at Anaheim Chili. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t taste like I’m nine years old again. That’s what I was chasing when I started looking. What I made was satisfying indeed.

This recipe comes from a comment on this recipe. (User ginrose was indignant enough that I decided I’d trust her with the initial foray.)

You will need:

  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1 3/4 cups whole buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add bacon drippings to a seasoned 10-inch iron skillet and place in oven while it preheats. In a mixing bowl, whisk remaining ingredients together until smooth. When the oven has reached temperature, pour the bacon drippings into the mixing bowl and whisk again until thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixing bowl contents into the skillet, return to oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand two minutes and serve.

cornbread2This cornbread is crumbly in that way that only comes from animal fat, and tastes amazing. Seems like my mama’s was a bit yellower. I’m not sure why.

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 Posted by at 9:37 pm

  8 Responses to “My first Southern cornbread”

  1. This sounds good but I know I’ll never make it. I just don’t like bacon enough to actually cook any. As for the color, cornmeal comes in yellow and white varieties. I suppose your mother used yellow cornmeal.

    • “I just don’t like bacon enough”–is that English? Having trouble processing that…

      Caroline, try it with the same quantity of corn oil or butter then. Generally, although there will be differences in taste and texture, fat is fat in most baking like this. I bet it comes out tasty with either of the above.

  2. You know that somewhere out there, someone is wondering what to season the pan with. Ha ha.

  3. I make mine just using Crisco oil. I’m sure it’s not as flavorful – bacon makes everything better – but it’s a lot easier. Of course, I don’t eat cornbread, so I have to take my husband’s word for it that it tastes OK.

  4. I’m a crunchy outside man, not a fluffy inside man, so I’d spread that amount of batter into two pans. Or better yet, we have a cast iron pan that makes corn bread sticks. My wife will do that, or maybe use a muffin pan, too. Shoot, now I’ll never last until lunchtime…

  5. I don’t think I have ever heard someone say that they don’t like bacon. I know people who don’t eat it for health reasons, but God Almighty bacon tastes good. Frying bacon is also one of the best smelling things in the world. I could have just eaten dinner and would still have a piece if you cooked it in front of me.

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